Organized at Home

There’s a new movement in kitchen design when it comes to storage and display and that is the replacement of solid upper cabinetry with open shelving, typically in the form of floating shelves or ones supported by brackets.

Many homeowners are embracing this idea in their own kitchens and the look is becoming less of a trend and more of a lifestyle choice.  Here are seven different ways you to can incorporate open shelving into your kitchen.

One way to open up without replacing upper cabinetry is to remove the cabinet doors, patch and paint any hinge holes, and experiment with your comfort level where glasses and dishware are out on constant display.

open shelving on upper cabinets bhg

 

Choosing beadboard as a backsplash adds traditional cottage style when installed behind open shelving designed to store everyday dishes.

 

open shelving near sink bhg

 

Carved brackets add architectural interest to kitchens with open shelving.  Paint them in a welcoming color to complement your white and colored glass collection.

 

painted open shelving with brackets bhg

 

As an alternative to high contrast paint, choose a finish on the shelving that is similar to the wall like this display of wood tone shelving against whitewashed paneling.  The blended combination allows the dishes and art to take the spotlight.

 

wood tone open shelving bhg

 

 

The use of stainless steel for open shelving injects a modern vibe into a kitchen space and mimics the look found in many restaurants and cafes.

 

stainless steel open shelves bhg

 

Introduce thick rustic wood planks in the form of floating shelves to add warmth and contrast against cool ceramic tile.

 

rustic floating shelves bhg

 

If your existing upper cabinetry is adjacent to a window, you also have the option of installing boards between them for open storage and to create a space for your favorite dish collection.

 

open shelving over window bhg

 

Have you upgraded your kitchen lately and included open shelving in the design plan?

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Hobbies such as crafting, quilting, scrapbooking, card making, and sewing give many the satisfaction of taking a few quiet hours to create something unique with their own hands.  For any enthusiast, the supplies for creative hobbies can quickly takeover storage space in the home, so it’s helpful to have one dedicated zone where all of the necessities can be corralled in one place.  Here’s a peek at several clever places to store scrapbooking or crafting supplies around the house. 

A Crafting Closet.  Tuck supplies into assorted boxes and store them inside a spare closet keeping small essentials organized in labeled plastic bins or colorful cardboard boxes. 

craft storage in closet bhg

 

craft room in closet bhg

 

Desk + Hutch.   A desk with small drawers provides storage for all of the smaller crafting essentials plus the added bonus of a horizontal workspace, while a hutch provides ready-to-go supplies that are within arms reach. 

 

craft desk and hutch bhg

 

 

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One thing I long for in our home is a larger space I can officially call a “mudroom”.  We have a very small closet near our back entry and we use it as a place to kick off our shoes or hang up coats, but it would be really nice to have a unique space dedicated solely to the task of corralling all of our shoes, boots, and outerwear each day.

A true mudroom is a dream come true for many families with children enrolled in sports or involved in the daily activities of coming and going from school.  What are the essentials for any multitasking mudroom space?  Here are five of my favorites.

Bins and Baskets in Lockers or Cubbies.   A labeled basket and locker or cubby specified for each family member is a great way to keep it all organized!  Avoid the frantic search for jackets, shoes, or backpacks when everyone has a space of their own.

 

cubbies and striped baskets bhg

 

baskets in mudroom bhg

 

rolling bins and shelving bhg

 

Handy Hooks for Hanging.  Hooks maximize the use of vertical wall space and provide grab and go convenience for when you’re ready to head out the door.

 

hooks in entry bhg

 

hooks in the mudroom bhg

   

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It’s so nice to have a separate room dedicated solely to a home office, however the luxury of that extra square footage isn’t possible for everyone.  We all face the daily obligations of responding to email or bill paying, so a space for a home office makes sense for most of us.  Here are ten ideas for setting up a home office absent a room solely dedicated to the task.

1.  The Secretary.   How tidy is this solution?  A portable piece of furniture like an armoire or secretary allows you to store supplies for correspondence and then close it up at day’s end when your tasks are complete.

 

secretary home office bhg

 

2.  The Corner.     Truth is, corners exist in every room, right?   Take a look around and ask yourself, is there one corner where you could add some upper cabinets and a desk below?  If so, that’s the place to insert a home office!

 

corner home office bhg

 

3.  The Alcove.   A narrow space that includes shelves and a desk becomes a stylish work station with room for storage behind a pretty fabric skirt.

 

alcove office bhg

4.  The Cart.   Portability is a bonus with this setup!   If space permits, wheel it into a closet or spare room so it disappears when visitors arrive.

 

cart home office bhg

 

5.  The Wall.   An office can be created virtually anywhere along a blank wall, whether it’s the top of the stairs or a wide hallway.

 

blank wall two desks bhg

 

6.  The Dining Room.   In any home with a formal dining room, consider using it as a home office/library instead.  Store your books on shelves along walls and treat it as a library and home office by day.  A table in the center can easily be set for guests when its time to entertain and serve a meal.

 dining room library office bhg

 

7.   The Kitchen.   Tucked away in a kitchen, a home office in this zone allows you to keep an eye on the spaghetti as you socialize online or search for new recipes.

 

kitchen nook home office bhg

 

8.  The Craft Zone.  Have you dedicated a space in your home to your creative side?  Fantastic!  Why not incorporate some office supplies too, adjacent to your laptop.  Scrapbook, craft, and pay bills all at the same time with a multitasking zone like this.

 

craft room home office bhg

9.  The Niche.   A few square feet can make for a cozy office space, such as this niche with built in cabinetry.  It’s the perfect place to catch up on email and balance the checkbook too.

 

niche home office bhg

 

10.  The Spare.   A guest or spare room is another great place to insert a desk for use by day while visitors use the space to slumber by night.

 

spare room office bhg

Small space living never means you need sacrifice a fully functional home office!  With a little creativity, you can steal some square footage in a corner, niche, or alcove in your home and include a place for a computer and office supplies.

Where have you set up a home office in your home?

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Of all the spaces in our home, the kitchen is one where we all crave the smartest storage solutions.  Any kitchen designer will tell you having a place for everything is the key to organization and efficiency.

If you’re fortunate enough to be designing a kitchen from the bare walls, the best thing to do is make a list of everything you plan to store in your kitchen and create a space for those necessities in the design plan.  Absent that luxury, there are still organizing solutions that can be incorporated into existing kitchen layouts.  Here are twelve ideas to consider for maximizing storage in your home’s kitchen space.

Multitasking Baskets. Pull out baskets break up a long row of cabinets and introduce another texture while also serving the purpose of storage for frequently used items or food that doesn’t require refrigeration.

baskets in cabinets bhg

pull out baskets in cabinet bhg

 

Ready to Go Rods.  You can find mini metal storage units designed for spices or utensils at many retail stores specializing in home organization, or create one of your own with a basic metal pipe and brackets from a home improvement store.

shelf on island bhg

 

metal rod utensil display bhg

Behind Closed Doors.  The back of a cabinet door is the perfect place to install a memo board for coupons, reminders, or even office supplies.

door pinboard bhg

pantry door organizer bhg

 

Well Designed Disposal.  Trash and recycling fill up quickly in kitchens, so rather than purchasing freestanding bins, dedicate or convert a cabinet into dual purpose trash and recycling center.

pull out garbage and recycling bhg

 

pullout recycling and garbage bhg

Practical Pullouts.  Reaching for a pot or pan couldn’t be easier with a smart pullout system built into a multitasking cabinet.

pullout pot organizer bhg

pullout pot storage bhg

Cutting Edge.   We all need a place to store cutting boards – dedicate a small cabinet with vertical racks or dividers for grab-and-go convenience.

cutting board built in bhg

cutting board divider bhg

Harmonious Herbs.   A spice drawer next to the cooktop is a chef’s best friend, especially one with drawer organizers designed for this purpose.

spice drawer bhg

 

spice drawer in kitchen bhg

Appliance Garage.  Life’s everyday appliances need a special storage spot too.  Squeeze them into their own garage for easy access when blending, toasting, mixing, or juicing.

appliance storage niche bhg

 

appliance niche bhg

Divide and Conquer.   The power of separation is a great tool for keeping drawers uncluttered.  Make yours just as organized with cleverly placed dividers or pegs.

dividers for pots bhg

plate drawer dividers bhg

Not So Lazy.  Corner cabinets can become wasted spaces, but with some help from a lazy Susan, storage of mixing bowls, colanders, and platters becomes more efficient.

lazy susan in corner bhg

Extra Extra!   Anywhere you can think to squeeze in an extra drawer for kitchen miscellaneous is a smart design element especially for towels, placemats, cookie sheets, or other flatter necessities.

pullout drawer under cabinet bhg

 

drawer below cabinet bhg

Close At Hand Cleaners.  Sanitation and cleanup are key in any kitchen space so install a rack inside your sink cabinet to house your daily cleaning essentials.

pullout rack for cleaners bhg

 

metal back of door organizer bhg

 

A well organized kitchen makes cooking, cleaning, socializing, and meal sharing much more enjoyable.  What savvy storage solutions have you incorporated into your own kitchen space?


I discovered IKEA five or six years ago and ever since I did, I’ve been a big fan of their affordable products.  We’ve turned their Billy bookcases into built in shelving, used IKEA kitchen cabinets to make a window seat, and their Vittsjo shelves to store books and games too. 

IKEA products have been popping in homes featured in Better Homes and Gardens for years!  Some of their units have been discontinued but other popular pieces like the Expedit and the Maskros ceiling pendant are still available. 

IKEA’s Expedit shelf is a popular choice for its contemporary clean lines and functionality.  When paired with the Knipsa basket, it makes a great organizer for the home office or playroom.

 

expedit with knipsa basket bhg

 

Since the piece is finished on both sides, it works equally well as a room divider.

 

expedit room divider bhg

 

Consider it for your collection of dishes, bowls, and ceramics for an open display in a dining space. 

 

expedit in dining room bhg

 

Some Lack shelving units (since discontinued) were turned sideways to create a unique storage center in the dining space below, but today’s narrow Expedit could achieve a similar look. 

 

lack storage in dining bhg

 

Stand it straight up to maximize vertical space in a small room in need of storage.

 

ikea lack storage bhg

 

The IKEA Maskros chandelier for makes a big statement in a bedroom, dining room, or office. 

 

ikea maskros pendant bhg 

IKEA’s Majby woven chairs are no longer available but there are few similar rattan chairs in stock that work in any casual dining or gathering space. 

 

ikea majby chair

 

Navigating an IKEA is practically an all day event when you visit their design center, but I’ve learned if you know what you want before you go, you can find the larger pieces by bin or aisle number online, saving yourself valuable time by heading straight for the stock room.

 

Here are 12 very versatile IKEA staples for the home!

versatile ikea picks

From top left: Maskros fixture, $90; Byholma chair, $90; Jonsbo Barby table lamp (three colors), $60; Vittsjo shelf, $70; Bjursta table & 6 chairs, $899; Stockholm coffee table (2 colors); $199 Billy bookcase (with doors); 149; Expedit shelving (five colors), $90; Ektorp chair (five colors), $150; Nordli bed, $249; Hemnes dresser (four colors), $299; 5 x 7 Alvine rug, $199.

Have you shopped at IKEA for your home?  What is your favorite piece?

 

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